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If you want a new car, building a new car isn't high on the list of options. You have to be a skilled mechanic to source all of the parts and put them together correctly and even then it would take a tremendous amount of time and energy.
However, this is the scenario marketing departments all over the world find themselves in. Modern marketers live in an increasingly complex environment with more channels, more content, more touchpoints, and more tools than ever before. At the same time, marketing managers are under more pressure than ever to produce real results and demonstrate their business impact.
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The response from most marketing departments over time has been to reach for a collection of different solutions to address individual vulnerabilities. You can buy some analytics tools to get better reports, workflow tools to address inefficient processes, or set up quarterly external meetings to plan campaign strategy. And they can choose from around 8,000 different marketing technology tools on the market.
The problem is, these solutions only address parts of the marketing challenge, not the whole. Analysis tools cannot be used to generate the reports without data. These workflow tools and offsite meetings are ineffective without a system that monitors the progress of campaigns and creates accountability for them.
The two biggest weaknesses that top marketing managers keep citing are lack of visibility into campaign effectiveness and the long time it takes to get campaigns up and running.
Visibility is obscured by the numerous features – more than 20 in large marketing departments – that specialize in different pieces of the marketing puzzle. According to a recent Sirkin Research report we commissioned, inefficient workflows and processes are slowing time to market, resulting in an average of 12 weeks from campaign idea to activation. Too many marketers still spend most of their time writing emails, creating PowerPoints, and meeting after meeting instead of doing the actual marketing work.
When you ask large company marketers about their weaknesses, the gap between dream and reality becomes clear. In a survey of over 300 marketing directors in large corporations, we found that 88% of respondents think easy consolidation and reporting on campaign effectiveness is important, but only 24% said they are good or very good at doing this .
88% of executives reiterated the importance of accelerating campaigns across channels, while only 37% said they are good at it, with the COVID pandemic making this challenge much worse. Large gaps between importance and reality were also evident in the interoperability of Martech, the easy management of content and campaigns, and the alignment of the strategy with budgeting and plans.
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While there are individual tools that can be used to address these issues, the problems cannot be fundamentally resolved without a coordinated approach. In today's marketing world, where technology is driving the breakdown and convergence of traditional silos, organizations need a holistic, coordinated approach to work more efficiently and get results.
To go back to the car analogy, your vehicle will only go very far if the wheels, engine, steering wheel and brakes work together in harmony.
Based on the experience of the most successful marketing managers, it is possible to identify the five necessary pillars of an orchestrated approach.
work in groups
It's important to have a team that works well together, clear workflows, and insight into what is being done. It is important to know what is on the right track, what is behind schedule, and where the bottlenecks are.
Because of the importance and amount of content, the company continues to lead the way in marketing, whether it is enabling sales or demand generation programs. The cooperation must take place both in terms of content and in teams. Control of the content, regardless of whether the brand or the law is adhered to, must be integrated into the workflows so that the content continues to flow.
Content has no value unless it's broadcast somewhere, be it through websites, social media channels, or to your sales team. The seamless transition from orchestrating content to orchestrating channel distribution is an important component of marketing orchestration.
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Good integration at the planning, team and campaign execution levels is essential for a successful orchestrated approach. This includes properly integrating the crowded marketing technology stack which, if poorly integrated, can lead to execution errors.
If content is king, data is now marketing queen. Good data is essential for all pillars of orchestration in order to gain insight into how campaigns, content and teams are working.
If any of these elements fail, the entire marketing process will be hampered. Conversely, when marketing teams all perform well and are orchestrated effectively, they can fill the huge gaps between priorities and reality that surveys reveal. Marketing directors also get what they want – to do their planning in the front end, navigate accordingly when things change, and report effectively in the back end.
While technology is the biggest enabler for this change, it does not describe the approach. The approach is orchestration and it is the only real way for modern marketing teams to handle the growing complexity and get better results.